Wingate eBook cover $9.99 on Kindle, Nook, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Google Play

Orde Wingate by Christopher Sykes (243,000 words, 38 illustrations)

Four months after Orde Wingate (1903-1944) died in a plane crash in Burma, Churchill told the House of Commons that he was “a man of genius who might well have become also a man of destiny.” An unconventional soldier — as a junior officer, he complained directly to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff during an exercise about being refused entry to the Staff College —, Wingate first showed his military genius in Palestine (1936-39), where as an ardent supporter of the Jews and of Zionism, he organized the Special Night Squads, armed groups of British and Haganah volunteers, at Ein Harod in the Galilee to fight Arab attacks. In Ethiopia, where he commanded the troops supporting Haile Selassie, his brilliant campaign played a key part in the Italian defeat and the restoration of the Emperor to his throne. Wingate is mainly remembered as the leader of the Chindits guerilla brigade in Burma where, in February 1943, as Britain’s fortunes in Burma were at their lowest ebb, he led his brigade far behind the Japanese lines, harassing communications and gaining the jungle experience which would prove a vital factor in the second and larger operation and in eventual victory.


“This is an excellent and well-balanced study of the brilliant if eccentric British officer and his activities in Palestine, Ethiopia and Burma.” — Henry L. Roberts,
Foreign Affairs

“An absorbingly interesting portrait of a military genius who at times seems slightly mad, and almost never wholly normal. Rebellious against authority, though he came from a line of army people, mysterious in his ruthlessness, his fanaticism, his unwillingness to explain his motives, Wingate... made more enemies than friends... Surely, he makes a fascinating subject for a biography.” —
Kirkus

“This is a fine biography of an extraordinary man... a skillful combination of bright narrative and clear analysis... an excellent portrait of the man... Based upon a large storehouse of documents, interrogations, secondary works, and trips to the scenes of Wingate’s major campaigns, this volume is by far the best study to date on this forceful and erratic figure. No doubt it will remain so for a long time to come.” — Gordon W. Prange,
Military Affairs

“Christopher Sykes’
Orde Wingate reveals enormous research work, an overall understanding of the problems of the time, and sufficient critical distance for an evaluation of the man and his deeds... Sykes’ plastic art of description... found in this biography fullest expression; it is a literary treat.” — Oskar K. Rabinowicz, Jewish Social Studies